Squash in Ireland in the 1970s

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Above: Cornish-born Jonah Barrington, the dominant player of the early 1970s. (Irish Squash Review)

The growth of squash in Ireland in the 1970s was partially attributed to the sponsorship by Dunlop of the Irish Open in 1973 and the success of Irish player Jonah Barrington. The Squash Review believed that Barrington ‘did for squash what Muhammed Ali did for boxing’. Barrington was born in Cornwall to Irish parents from County Wexford. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and went on to win the British Open six times between 1967 and 1973, a competition that at the time was considered to be the effective world championship before the World Open was established. The development of commercial squash centres and government funding had seen the game grow to have 45,600 players by 1977. At the time Squash Review observed that ‘in a few years it is likely to become one of the biggest player-participation games in Ireland’.


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